eor: (Default)
Yesterday I took on a large van related project. I had parts for replacing the brake booster, master cylinder, both rear flex lines and both rear brake cylinders. The shop would have charged me $1,000 to do the whole job. At this point I didn't feel like I could lay out that kind of cash for just labor. So I started with the brake booster and master cylinder which are the bits that take the most labor.

The catch is to replace the brake booster you have to remove the entire dash. I've pulled the dash before to replace the heater core and blower, so I knew just how big a job it is.

I got off to a slow start yesterday because of the anti-histamine haze (it's not purple). I started to disassemble, then we went to breakfast with Hawk and Hawk's mate. When we got back I really dug in and put in a marathon session. Pulling the dash with all the assorted bits went well. Getting the brake booster out was one of those jobs better suited to Mister Fantastic than a normal human. Did finally get the old unit out. The new unit went in much easier and from there it was the long slow process of reassembly. While I had all the electrical bits strewn about I pulled the last bits of the car alarm from the Boston era. I had dash back in and most of the electrical wires lined up to their components before stopping for the night at 6pm.

This morning I was really sore and not in a mood to finish, but I went back out and finished assembling all the bits from the dash and electrical. I took a look at the back cylinders, but decided that they were two rusted into place for me to take off. There is one bolt and one brake line to remove on each. If either broke, I wouldn't have the tools the clean up the mess. On the other hand, it will be a quick job for someone with the right tools. So I put things back together and bled the front brakes thoroughly. Now the brakes are functional but soft. I will take the car in and have the rear cylinders and hoses replaces and have the whole system bled again.


Aug. 6th, 2009 09:46 pm
eor: (Default)
I haven't been around here much lately. I've only glanced over my flist in the last week and haven't even thought about posting.

If anyone needed incontrovertible evidence that I'm clinically insane, last Sunday I acquired a collection of 2,000+ 78rpm records in less than stellar shape. It will probably take me thousands of hours to get them all cleaned up, sorted out, and transferred to a digital form. It will probably also cost me thousands of dollars in equipment and supplies. But, but, they were lonely! They are also wicked cool.

First step is going to be cleaning, then cataloging. I'm hoping by the time I get done with that I'll be able to get some equipment to play them properly and digitize them. I'm learning a lot about the history of equalization and records that are not made from vinyl.

In other projects: Today I dynamated my 10A speakers and started the same project on the big monoliths. Applying dynamat to the ringy metal bits of the driver baskets is a relatively cheap and easy upgrade.

I have to get the van bumpers sandblasted by someone and repaint them. I also have to get an estimate on the seam rust and the spots where the paint has been knocked off. I have sadly neglected the van lately. I need to get it cleaned up (inside and out) and ready for the trip to the Faire.

Life busy.
eor: (vw)
Yesterday I caught a sudden case of ambition, I decided I was going to change the front heater fan and core. Those of you who have been following [livejournal.com profile] derien's journal already know that turning on the heater resulted in blowing the fuse, a sure sign that the fan had gone from failing to failed.

I'd already done the research and found out that it required pulling the entire dash in a process that would take an estimated 10 hours. I started about 8:30am and worked steadily throughout the day. When I finally got everything torn apart it was easy to tell that the fan was toast. I could barely turn it with my hands. The heater core didn't really need replacing, but I'm not planning on doing this project again, so I replaced it while I was there. Then came the fun of putting the whole thing back together. I got most of it back together. By 3:30pm I was too tired to mess with the bits that were still to be done, so I stopped for the night.

This morning I could hardly move. Nearly 10 hours of contortions under and around the dash while kneeling nearly the who time was not my body's idea of the way to spend a Saturday. I was sore all over and had bruises in various places from repeated encounters with metal protrusions. I wandered
back down and finished putting things together. It was a good project for a sunny warm weekend and I'm delighted to have it done.

Now if I could just get all the other things done that I had on the schedule for this weekend.
eor: (Default)
Wow, quite a bit of radio silence on here lately, huh? Well, it is summertime and I've been even busier than a usual summer. Last week was dominated by two projects: the awning and the rear cabinet. In between picking away at those was work and a quick visit by [livejournal.com profile] derien's brother and his girlfriend.

details of projects )

I should probably be out ripping the fridge out of the van and replacing the drain pipe, but I don't want to take on that intricate a task at the moment. So I'll try to get caught up on my email and LJ comments.


Jun. 30th, 2008 09:09 pm
eor: (westy)
Too dead to post much. In four hours after work this evening I managed to get the passenger side spring and upper ball joint changed. The quite simply involved ripping apart that entire side of the suspension. It cost me my pound of flesh, well, okay, not a pound, less than an ounce probably, but it felt like it a pound. The passenger side suspension no longer squeaks.

I'm hoping it rains tomorrow afternoon so I can take a day off. Otherwise it'll be round two tomorrow. I go to work to get rest. Sad.
eor: (westy)
Ugh. I started working on the van this morning at 8:15 in the drizzle. I stopped working on the van at 6pm, shortly before the thunderstorm. The only break I took was lunch. I am so beat. I got all the air conditioning hoses removed, the wiring for the air conditioning removed, and the condenser out. The only bits of the air still left is the blower part of the unit in the rear overhead cabinet and the switch on the dash. I can't remove the overhead cabinet until I line up a replacement. The switch I'll deal with at some point. The air conditioner hasn't worked since the engine swap, it's just been taking up space and slowly rusting. In order to get it back working I'd have to put in power steering and I don't think that's important enough.

While I was doing that some wires that I wasn't removing disintegrated in my hands. Some investigation showed they were the wires for the radiator fan. One of them was worn so that bare wire was showing and so corroded that there almost wasn't any wire left. I spent a few hours tracing the wires making sure I knew what was what and splicing in a small chunk into three of the wires.

I also took a crack at removing one of the front springs. That didn't happen. Consulting the Bentley manual, it will be a big job. They recommend disconnecting most of the frontend parts to get the springs out. I'm trying to figure out the earliest large block of time I'll have coming up.

Advil has been taken. I don't think I'll have any problem getting to sleep tonight.
eor: (mmwh-wha-mmwhaaat)
Picture me trying to put the rear shock and wheel back on the van while the second thunderstorm of the afternoon came rumbling in with electric vengeance. I just got in before it started to downpour and the strikes cause the lights in the house to dim.

"If ain't braggin' if it's true,
yes, sir, yes, sir."

I got the shock on one side changed before the downpour. I didn't get the spring on that side changed. Someone on the web was able to get his spring out just by dropping the shock. I don't know how. I have real doubts if mine was going to come out with anything less than explosive force. Explosive force isn't cool when it comes to large chunks of steel, least not when my body parts are in the vicinity.

"Don't want to end up a cartoon,
in a cartoon graveyard."

No mention of rain in the forecast tomorrow. I do hope it's accurate.

"I used to be disgusted,
now I try to be amused."


May. 8th, 2008 06:39 pm
eor: (Default)
It's been sunny this week, so I've been out working on the van in the afternoons. Just a week from now will be the first camping of the season.

boring van maintenance stuff )
eor: (westy)
Today despite all initial indications to the contrary, I did get some things done.

cut for length and because it's boring to anyone who doesn't own a Westy )

My to-do list on the van is still massive, but now I feel like it's getting shorter instead of longer.

I've got to get going on housework and programming.


Apr. 1st, 2007 01:53 pm
eor: (westy)
Yesterday I spent hours working on the propane heater installation in the van. I made good progress, getting almost all the holes and air piping bits taken care of and snaking the power cables from near the back seat to under the sink. I also constructed a shelf to go over the heater (with appropriate air gap) so that I can use that badly needed space for storage. Today I finished wiring in the power complete with fuse. It works! Still no propane to it, so heat doesn't come out, but it responds correctly and will blow as much cold air as I want.


Feb. 18th, 2007 08:12 pm
eor: (westy)
I hurt. I'm sure saying I hurt all over is an exaggeration, but I'm not sure I can think of a part that doesn't hurt at the moment. I spent most of the day working on wiring in and under the van. The contortions involved in automotive wiring generally induce fatigue and pain. The fact I could see my breath the entire time made it worse.

Today's project was replacing and rewiring the auxiliary battery. )

I'm happy to have gotten as much done as I did, but my body is not at all happy with me.


May. 2nd, 2006 07:21 pm
eor: (westy)
Never name your van after a character with a puckish sense of humor. You see, I made the mistake of naming The Van Jadzia Dax Ex Machina after Jadzia Dax from DS9. Dax can at times be quite amused by others' discomfort and minor frustrations.

Today the van made me sit at the gas station for half an hour before it deigned to restart. Stunts like this are just infrequent enough to get you off your guard. Oh, but start it did, after I sat, watched the rain, cursed a thousand curses, and felt my blood pressure going up like the temperature needle does at seemingly random times when driving in town. Our relationship is dysfunctional. It reminds me distinctly of relationships I've had with certain humans. Why do I put up with it? Why do I continue to try to work out our problems? Do I really still care for her or is it just I can't stand to fail at anything?

"it's real fucked up." -- Body Count


Apr. 30th, 2006 08:30 pm
eor: (westy)
This weekend has been a study in contrasts. Yesterday everything I touched went wrong, but because I'm pigheaded, I insisted on trying to get things done. Today, I didn't really try to get much done, but everything I tried I accomplished to some degree or other. Two beautiful sunny days: one wasted in frustration, one mostly blissfully wasted.

some details )

Note the icon, this is the van in it's newly painted state.
eor: (Default)
The van is back )
eor: (Default)
I took advantage of some vacation time I didn't realize I had today. It has been slowing down at work and it's the end of the year so I figured I might as well use up the last of my time.

We got up early to take Teena to the airport. I was sad to see her go, but glad we got up and took her.

I got off to a slow start today, but having all day to just plug away at things makes it easier to be productive. I've written the final check for the car loan. That feels so good! A six year loan paid off in under two years, woot! Once again, we'll be debt free. I got the blood work done that the gastro doc had requested. The van is scheduled to go in for bodywork on the 2nd Saturday of January. It will leave us with only one vehicle through the coldest part of the winter, but at least the van will get done before spring.


eor: (Default)

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